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<< Back to Gabi, A Girl In Pieces

Gabi, A Girl In Pieces

VOYA Magazine

 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Complete Review: 4Q 4P S
Quintero, Isabel. Gabi: A Girl in Pieces. Cinco Puntos, 2014. 208p. $17.95. 978-1-935955-94-8.

School has not even started yet, and already Gabriela (Gabi) Hernandez’s senior year is amping up the stress levels. She has best friend problems—one just found out she is pregnant, the other finds himself homeless after telling his parents he is gay. She also has family issues of her own to deal with, specifically her drug-addicted father; a mother whose idea of sex education is “ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas” (eyes open, legs closed); and a little brother who seems determined to follow the path of delinquency. Of course, there are AP classes, passing Algebra 2, and college applications to keep up with, as well as hopes for romance and a date to prom. Food has always been Gabi’s go-to method for dealing with stress, but this year she has found another outlet: poetry.
While reflecting the specific experiences of one overweight, Mexican-American teenager, Quintero’s debut novel addresses a number of universal themes, from family relationships to sexual exploration. Gabi’s voice, as expressed in her diary through poetry, prose, lists, and overheard conversations, is funny, smart, full of wonder, and brutally honest. Her thoughtful, slightly irreverent “Diagram of the Female Body” is a brilliant exploration of the conflicting expectations shoved on today’s young women. Give this to girls of all sizes—“gorditas, flaquitas, and in-between”—who like their heavy topics sweetened with a touch of humor and candor.—Heather Christensen.
- Heather Christensen, 

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